FAQs

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What is a Letter of Authority or LoA ?

Chances are, at some point in your business energy journey, you will have been asked to sign a Letter of Authority or LoA - but what exactly does this mean? A LoA is an important bit of paper work that is required in order for a Third Party Intermediary (TPI) to purchase energy and talk to your current supplier on your behalf. Without an LoA, we won’t be able to do anything on your behalf, which can slow things down.

How we use Letters of Authority ?

Quite simply, we use the Letter of Authority as proof to energy suppliers to show that you have appointed us to find the best business energy rates for you. This means that we can go to every single energy supplier to find their best rates, select the best tariff and then carry out all the administrative tasks required off the back of this.

Essentially, we remove the hassle of comparing business energy to make it as straightforward as possible.

When do we send your LoA?

As soon as you request a quote from our SME team, we’ll send out an LoA via email - this will need to be signed and returned before we can do any work.

This Letter of Authority simply states that you have consented to allow amber energy to gather information, negotiate energy rates and terminate existing contracts on your behalf. We will always talk to you first before agreeing a contract, providing you not only the best rates but also a suitable supplier.

What is a Change of Tenancy?

A Change of Tenancy (COT) or Change of Occupier (COO) takes place when a business or an individual move into a new property or moves out of an existing property.

If you are looking to move properties then you will need to notify your current utility supplier of the property you are leaving. This can be done by calling the customer service team and some suppliers make this process available through an online form. 

Once you move into the new property, you'll need to notify the supplier who will be taking on the meter at that location. 

It is important that you take meter readings when you move out and when you move in so that you can be accurately billed for your use.

How is energy trading performance measured?

When an energy user enters a flexible energy procurement agreement, amber energy sets an entry reference price, which acts as a benchmark for measuring performance.

We also like to compare our energy trading performance with the equivalent fixed energy procurement price and the average energy market price. We are flexible when arranging management fees with our clients and are open to the idea of reducing our fees in return for shared savings opportunities.

Can sites be added or removed from a flexible energy purchasing basket?

Our flexible energy purchasing baskets are, in their very name, flexible. This means that sites can join or leave a flexible energy purchasing basket as and when required, even inside the contract period.

Energy users may wish for sites joining the flexible energy basket to benefit from previous trades or start fresh. If a site leaves the basket, then the already flexibly purchased energy must be sold back or netted off across other clients / sites.

Can purchased energy be sold back?

In principle yes, your purchased energy can be sold back. This is only a possibility as long as the supplier and the selected flexible energy supply product allow this functionality. 

It is worth noting, however, that energy users are not allowed to unlock more energy than they have previously locked. This amount will have been within your previously agreed consumption profile.

You should also be aware that there are several risks associated with unlocking of a position, so it is important there is a clear strategy and plan in place.

What is thermal modelling and why is it useful?

Thermal modelling involves building a computational model of a building and using it to run simulations allowing predictions to be made around that buildings performance, in terms of energy consumption, temperatures, lighting levels, pollutant levels, etc.

Thermal modelling must be performed in order to demonstrate compliance with Part L of the Building Regulations (Section 6 in Scotland), produce EPC’s, calculate certain BREEAM credits. Thermal modelling is also extensively used within the industry for validating ventilation system performance and as a building design optimisation tool.

What is the cheapest way to save energy?

This is actually a tricky question as it massively depends on your business, how you're using energy and what you consider "cheap". 

Usually, the cheapest way to save energy in an existing building is to get better visibility of your energy consumption data. This is normally done through computer-based monitoring tools and using this information to identify times of unexpected energy use.

Implementing this is surprisingly easy to do and the problems are typically traced back to occupant behaviour or building control systems being wrongly set. Both of these types of issue are cheap to resolve and can lead to substantial energy consumption reductions.

Can I remove my own gas meter?

Yeah, sure you can remove your own gas meter... if you are a supplier, Meter Asset Manager or a gas safe engineer. Otherwise no, definitely not. 

If you do instruct your own gas safe engineer to remove the meter, then you will need to notify the supplier who will arrange with the MAM to collect the meter.  This will ensure that you are not billed on estimates once the meter is removed.

Why are water rates different across the UK?

If you have several sites around the UK then you may notice that you get different rates depending on where your site is located. This is because different water companies operate around the UK and their pricing varies – sometimes quite significantly. For example, someone using 10 m3/day in the South West could be expected to pay 250% more for their water than someone in London.

You could also be charged different rates by the same supplier depending on the size of your water meter and an estimate of the amount of rain water from your site that goes into the sewer. If your property doesn’t have a meter on it, then you’ll be billed based on the value of a property of a similar size and site.

Since April 2017, the water markets have opened up meaning that you’re no longer chained to a supplier dependant on your location. Want to find out more about how we can maximise your water savings? Talk to our water specialists today.

What is combined heating and power?

Combined Heating and Power, or CHP, are devices that burn gas to simultaneously produce hot water and electricity. The benefit of this type of system can only be utilised if you require both the heat and electricity that is being generated at that time.

Typically, a building will always make use of the electricity but finding use for the heat can be more difficult – especially during the summer. For this reason, CHP units should be placed depending on the ‘base’ heat demand of your building – if done correctly, CHP devices can deliver cost and carbon dioxide emissions savings.

What is ESOS?

Energy Savings Opportunity Scheme or ESOS is a mandated government policy for large organisations of over 250 employees, or employing less than 250 employees but turning over in excess of 50million euro and an annual balance sheet in excess of 43million euro.

The scheme itself requires these businesses to carry out a full energy audit - specifically in line with their ESOS assessment - which covers 90% of the businesses energy consumption. In order for the audit to be valid, it needs to be carried out by a registered and approved ESOS lead assessor.

How long does it take to arrange a new gas or electricity meter?

There are many factors that can affect how long it takes to arrange a new meter. If everything is lined up and ready then a new meter can be supplied within 15 working days, although it may take up to 20 days. It’ll then take 3 working days for the registration of the supply and an additional 10 working days for a meter installation date. This process is the same regardless of whether it is a gas or electricity meter.

Using amber energy to help install new meters can help to accelerate this process, learn more about our new meter connections service here.

What is a Smart Meter?

Smart meters have gotten a lot of attention recently for being pushed across domestic properties, but essentially smart meters are AMRs that send your supplier meter readings electronically allowing for accurate billing.

What's my supplier number?

There are two types of supply number, one for gas and one for electricity. These numbers are unique for each supply point and can be found on your energy bill and, on more recent installations, the meter itself. This number does not change if you switch supplier. 

The gas supply number is known as the Meter Point Reference Number (MPRN), you will find this number on your gas bill – it will be 6 to 10 numerical digits long.

Electricity supply number is called Meter Point Administration Numbers (MPAN), the full MPAN is 21 digits long and can be found on your electricity bill.

What are Automatic Meter Readings (AMR)?

You may hear the acronym AMR thrown around a fair bit in the industry, it simply means Automatic Meter Readings. You can get an automatic meter reading device attached to your existing meter without the need to replace the meter.

An AMR is slightly different to a smart meter, although it delivers similar features – such as half hourly meter readings that are sent straight to your energy supplier to provide accurate bills and delivering consumption profiles.

Another benefit of AMR is that it becomes much easier to determine abnormal or unnecessary energy consumption and allows automatic consumption monitoring and alerting to be put in place.

Am I eligible for VAT reduction on business energy rates?

In the UK, most businesses are charged 20% VAT on their business energy, but some businesses are able to have a VAT reduction and pay the domestic rate of just 5% and the Climate Change Levy will also be removed from their business energy bills.

Businesses who are eligible for a VAT reduction are low consumers (electricity below 1,000kWh or gas below 4,397kWh a month), charitable organisations or if the majority of your energy use is in a domestic setting.

What is a Smart Meter?

Smart meters have gotten a lot of attention recently for being pushed across domestic properties, but essentially smart meters are AMRs that send your supplier meter readings electronically allowing for accurate billing.

What are Automatic Meter Readings (AMR)

You may hear the acronym AMR thrown around a fair bit in the industry, it simply means Automatic Meter Readings. You can get an automatic meter reading device attached to your existing meter without the need to replace the meter.

An AMR is slightly different to a smart meter, although it delivers similar features – such as half hourly meter readings that are sent straight to your energy supplier to provide accurate bills and delivering consumption profiles.

Another benefit of AMR is that it becomes much easier to determine abnormal or unnecessary energy consumption and allows automatic consumption monitoring and alerting to be put in place.